Four years and a few weeks ago we went to Asbury College to watch Ben graduate. While there, we visited Southland Church outside of Lexington, a megachurch with lots more bells and whistles than we are used to. As part of the service, illustrating a sermon point, there were four couples of varying ages on the stage, dancing close while "I Hope You Dance" played over them. I am turned off by this style of Christianity which takes secular banalities and tries to stretch them into a spiritual truth. I'm all for the sacred permeating all of the secular world; the secular permeating the sacred, not so much. Also, I don't like that particular song all that much.
We were interrupted by Tracy's cell phone, which she had neglected to turn off, ringing. She was clearly upset at the news she was receiving, and we passed the grim news down the row: "Adam Bishop is dead." I wrote at the time about the worship and the young man's death in this post. He was almost 20, an only son, killed in an early-morning car accident on Mother's Day, driving through the night to come see Mom.
It was his sister who was married today, and while all was properly joyfully, some nods to mourning were there. Her white gown was hemmed in black, the Matron of Honor made reference to their brother in her toast, and an interesting additional custom was added in. After the bride's dance with her father, and the groom's with his mother, Tommy went over to his new mother-in-law and danced alone with her. Very poignant, very moving.
They could not possibly have known the connection for our family, but the song was "I Hope You Dance." I still don't like it much, but it brought tears to my eyes and will have even more meaning now. That's how country musicians stay in business, I guess. Three Chords and the Truth, as the saying goes. All those artificial, overhyped stories really do happen to us all.